- Written by Super User
In a facebook posting, Jeff Ho, owner of Alibi posted the news of the closure:
On behalf of Ray & I, I want to thank Thomas FitzGerald, our Bartender at Alibi, for his years of service with us. Not only at Alibi, but at Legends. We Also want to Thank Ray Quenga for bringing Harness Nights to Alibi. And Most of All, We All want to Thank the Community for their Support of Alibi. We have decided as of January 30, 2022, Alibi will be shutting our doors for good. Ray & I are Retiring and the Property is to be Sold. We want to Thank You All for the Many Memories and Lots & Lots of Fun that we have Shared with You All. We Will be having a Celebration January 21, with the KCL Men from LA. Please come out and Enjoy the Party and We want to Wish You All a Happy Néw Year…..
- Written by Super User
As we look back on 2021 with all of its pandemic-related challenges, from mental health to finances, we can be nothing but enormously proud and grateful to our all volunteer staff: This year we've begun a new virtual speed friending program to help combat loneliness and isolation. We adopted families for the holidays, providing food and gifts. We also just welcomed 70 individuals at our annual Chosen Family holiday party. Giving a loving and welcoming space to those who would go out without a positive environment this holiday season. We've also underwritten and supported various events throughout the year.
We couldn't have done all of this without your continuing support as we receive no government or corporate support. So as you tidy up for the New Year's celebration, please consider donating the spare change you find in the couch or in the pockets of clothes you are putting away. Every little helps. And your donation to us is tax-deductible. (Our tax ID is 81-3066621.)
Our fundraising has taken a dip this year. The pandemic has taken a toll on families across the country. People have lost loved ones, been let go from their jobs, and seen their hours cut. Thousands of small businesses were forced to close.
Luckily, we've stewarded our resources responsibly, and we've been able to weather this year's downturn in fundraising.
In order to fully fund our work in 2022 and run the most effective, innovative programs we're known for, we are going to need your help.
- Written by Super User
- Written by Lincoln Brandal
Oftentimes, I've found that the angriest, most depressed people compensate in the most aggressive ways.
Said compensation can be both internal and external, can aim to hurt others or bruise the self. However, in the end, it always does harm. The pain continues until acceptance arrives and judgment ends. Not just externalized judgment of others, but also internalized judgment of oneself. Phrases such as "you're not X enough to be Y", or "only real A do B, C, and D" shove people into boxes, into the categories of "you're with us" versus " you're against us" and, therefore, puts pressure on one group to perform perfectly while excluding the other group altogether.
I know this to be a reality for me, at least, because I used to do just that. I used to exclude, gatekeep, and harm others, both intentionally and unintentionally. As a teenager, I used to compensate for my own feelings of inferiority by acting superior, by telling others what was valid and not, what was acceptable and unacceptable. My anger was channeled into other people, aiming to push them down and, in theory, raise myself up.
I, for many years, was truscum.
Truscum, also known as transmedicalists, are those who range from simply stating that transgender people must experience dysphoria - or a disconnect and discomfort with ones body and gender - to those that bully and belittle those that don't fit their narrative. I fell somewhere in-between, standing at the firm opinion that a person must experience dysphoria to be trans, as well as insisting that nonbinary identities were fake, among other things.
Now, though, I wish I could raise my past self this one simple question:
"Why does it concern me how people identify, or how they arrived at their conclusion?"
Asking myself that question, now, I can see how deeply wounded I was by society's inability to perceive me as the gender I was. It wasn't anyone's fault in particular, but merely the way the genetic-cookie crumbled: I had a round baby-face, wide hips, narrow shoulders, and a high-pitched voice. I didn't appear masculine despite my best efforts and, so, I internally bullied both myself and others for it.
By repeating toxic narratives in my head, I established the ideals that people who were not wanting to take hormones could never be happy because I wasn't happy with my absence of hormones. Or, those who didn't experience crippling, daily dysphoria must have been faking because how could they not want to change their bodies?
Later in life, I realized that transgender people have their own reasons for transitioning, and not every reason must be dysphoria-induced negativity. Sometimes, people experienced euphoria-induced positivity. Other times, they knew society was misunderstanding their gender identity, causing discomfort but maybe not creating crippling dysphoria nor exciting euphoria. It simply just was what it was.
But now, a decade into transitioning and considering myself "post-transition", I realize that it doesn't matter why someone transitions. What matters is that they're happy.
Some may ask, "What if they are faking being trans for attention?"
I would say, "So what?"
They may follow with, "They're making trans people look bad, invalid, or like we are all faking."
To which I'd respond, "But I know I'm not faking, and I know many people who aren't. Time will eventually tell and they will eventually stop. And, if they don't, then I applaud them for keeping up their 'act' for so long."
And if they tell me, "It bothers me, still."
I would reply, "And I can’t change your mind for you. I'm just picking my battles."
Because that's all it summed up to for me, in the end. My truscum phase - from age sixteen to nineteen-or-so - concluded with me realizing that not everyone was like me, not everyone would experience being trans like me, and moreover, I needed to pick my battles.
I was tired of bullying myself and others into a specific shape. I was exhausted at being angry and hurt all the time. And I was done with telling everyone that they needed to agree with me. After starting and stopping testosterone, getting top surgery, and being seen as the gender I identify as, my judgment has dissipated. I grew, realizing I wasn't a binary trans man but, instead, an agender person, unbound to the gender stereotypes of society.
Simply put, I learned to accept others, accept myself, and move forward. Now, I am far happier and far more open-minded. It's not that I never have the thoughts of, "but why did this person transition", but now, I can remind myself that it's their life and their choice. It's not my place to tell them what to do or think.
After all, I would never want someone to do that to me.
- Written by Jason
1. Open the app and scroll down to ’Settings’ in the main menu (☰).
2. Tap on ‘AmazonSmile’ and follow the on-screen instructions to turn on AmazonSmile on your phone.
1.) Visit smile.amazon.com. It’s just like shopping on amazon.com.
- Written by Lincoln Brandal
One of the most frightening things someone can face in life is, arguably, experiencing a major life change blindly and alone.
Whether that change affects your mental or physical health, your relationships, or perhaps your status in society, dealing with such an event can put a significant strain on you. Dozens of questions may surface when you are at your most vulnerable, ones that don’t have immediate answers, and people may be out of your reach, unable to help. At the end of the day, you’re left scrambling for what’s right and what’s wrong whilst shouldering fear, anxiety, uncertainty, and more.
Perhaps, for some, this major life change is choosing whether to attend college across the country with no easy way home.
Maybe, for others, it’s deciding which job opportunity is most beneficial for the future.
However, for approximately one percent of the United States population, this major life change is that of gender transition.
Whether it’s something as seemingly simple as coming out to loved ones or friends to trying to understand how to pay for medical bills, trans people often experience their struggle alone. A recent report showed that American school systems give little support for LGBT youth in sex education classes and it’s rare for transgender teenagers to receive guidance in their transition, both from school and from home. Often, questions regarding money, medical risks, safety, and opportunities go unanswered for transgender people of all ages, and while doctors may be able to aid in advising for hormone therapy costs or how much it would be for surgery, it’s all dependent on whether the provider is LGBT-friendly, or if insurance is willing to cover said costs.
So, where do transgender people go to receive answers if society is unable or unwilling to give any?
Large amounts of LGBT people have experienced medical information, support, and love from online communities such as Reddit subs like r/LGBT and r/asktransgender. There, they can ask questions and receive answers from sometimes dozens of people who are not only like-minded, but also open-minded. It’s a safe and secure place for them to go in their time of need. The internet eliminates the blindness and loneliness that many trans people of the past faced, as subreddits give valuable experience and info, and Discord servers or Twitter groups offer support that schools, workplaces, families, and friends may not give. Additionally, it’s a generous estimate that most doctors and many people don’t have knowledge to assist those who are transgender. Trans-oriented information and news isn’t taught in school, and society usually pretends that we don’t exist.
For example, when a licensed endocrinologist told me that I would have to stop taking testosterone - a life-changing, life-saving medication for me and many other transgender people - due to a “too high red blood cell count”, the internet assured me that the doctor was wrong, that my levels were within male range, and that I was safe. It took moving to another state and finding a completely new doctor to agree with those I spoke to online, saying that the previous professional I saw was incorrect.
Another incident followed a primary care provider, who informed me early into my transition that I “couldn’t experience male-patterned baldness” because I was “female at birth”. However, on Reddit, I was told the opposite, that a fairly large percentage of Caucasian men experience male-patterned baldness and that I, a person taking testosterone, would be considered in that group as well. It was something I had to look out for, to research on my own, because the doctor wasn’t well-versed in transgender medicine.
I don’t blame the medical professionals for steering me in the wrong directions. After all, how are they supposed to know if medical schools don’t teach them? If trans people are considered a myth to them, someone they’ll never meet?
Until our society holds transgender people in equal interest as everyone else, and cares about us as much as the next person, the trans experience will not change. We will continue to have to navigate a world that was not built for us, that doesn’t think we exist. Our families become the people we meet online who help us and hold our hands when nobody else can or will, and we become our own doctors when the medical professionals fail to give us correct information.
And luckily, with the kindness from friends on the internet, we’re finally no longer alone and wandering blindly into our major life change of becoming our true selves.
- Written by Jason
Sunday, December 19, 2021 from 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM
1800 Tulare Street
Fresno, CA 93721
Dinner and non alcoholic drink provided.
Our friends from Fresno Spectrum Center's Drag Bingo will be calling bingo games! No cost to play.
Be sure to register to attend.
- Written by Super User
- Written by Tim Evans
Republishing a piece from my past that is just as relevant today as it was back when I originally wrote it... I am 43 years old and have been "out" for about seven years. I've always known that I am gay. I think back to when I was nine or 10 years old and having crushes on great-looking male characters on television. My attraction to men has never, been in doubt, but my ability to act upon it used to be something that I figured would not be in my future. In high school I developed huge crushes on some of the guys; the loneliness and frustration of not having anywhere to go with that feeling led me to compensate with alcohol and drugs.
For the next 18 years my secret remained intact, although at times friends would occasionally confront me about not ever having a girlfriend. My mother would suggest I find "some rich lady" to settle down with. I never knew what to say to this and would mumble some lame excuse about not being comfortable around girls or that I had a hard enough time taking care of myself, let alone a girlfriend.
When the drinking finally ended (that is another story), I confronted my homosexuality for the first time. I began to think to myself, "Why can't I be out in the world?" and to entertain the thought that maybe, just maybe, I could find a man to fall in love with.
Well I did find a wonderful, kind, handsome man and fell in love. Robert is someone who I can feel completely comfortable with — a soulmate. I shared my relationship with Robert with one of my brothers — and in the process came out to him. His reaction was fairly unemotional but accepting. The rest of my family heard about Robert, but as "just a friend." I had yearned to come out to my entire family for a long time; now that Robert was in my life, the urge to was becoming too great to suppress.
Along came my birthday in 1998. My parents came to visit and invited Robert and me out to dinner. I wasn't sure if they suspected that I was gay and Robert was more than a friend, and they were uncomfortable with that - then they would not have extended such an invitation. So we accepted and the evening went fine! There were no uncomfortable lapses in the dinner conversation, no unexpected or rude comments. My parents are older folks and live by an ethic of good manners (something I like I like to think got passed on to me).
The next day, as we said our good-byes, my mother invited us both to Thanksgiving dinner at my brother's house in Connecticut! I accepted the invitation and began to see this as the golden opportunity to come out to my entire family as a gay man with a loving partner. Robert and I made plans to drive to Connecticut and make our first Evans family appearance as a couple on Thanksgiving Day.
I thought I should explain or come out directly to my parents before we arrived on the big day. So I sent my mother a thank-you note, for the birthday dinner; explaining that Robert and I are partners and hope to share a _home together soon. Suddenly my "secret" was in writing and in my parents' hands.
We were both excited and a little nervous on the long drive to Connecticut. I'd gotten no reply to my note and wondered if this was a bad sign. On arrival at my, brother's house, we were greeted with the familiar smells of turkey. squash and pies all baking and simmering at once. Various family members bustled about in the kitchen but stopped to warmly welcome us. There was no hostility or coldness. For years, I feared telling my parents I am gay, terrified about how they'd react; then there I was with my entire family as a gay man in a relationship with another man! At different times my father and mother each sat next to Robert and talked with him; he and my mother had a wonderful discussion about making and stenciling curtains. When it came time to leave, we both got lots of hugs and comments such as "too bad you couldn't stay longer." I could not have imagined a more accepting scenario.
So what to gather from all of this? Perhaps the most important feeling I got was that so much time goes by and we often become frozen by our fears of the unknown. In my case I was living under the assumption that my family, and especially my parents, would not accept me as a gay man and would somehow show their disapproval. Whether that disapproval would be overt anger or, more likely, an intolerable silence, I was too afraid to risk finding out.
Although my family and I will probably never be as close as some, I now feel a sense of belonging and a "part of" that I don't think was ever there before. This is truly a moment I will cherish and grow upon. While I realize not all family coming-out experiences will produce the same results as mine, I believe the best way to go is to face that awful fear, take a chance, and find out before it is too late.
- Written by Super User
During their two minutes at the lectern, Rami (who identifies as non-binary and says he’s immunocompromised) forcefully delivered a message many in the room didn’t want to hear: Their protests over school mask mandates and vaccines — all based on slanted mistruths about COVID — reek of ignorance and privilege. “We sit here arguing about a piece of fabric that weighs 12 grams while millions of families lose their loved ones,” they said. “Set aside your pretentious arrogance and think of those you hold dear. Think about how you would feel if they were suddenly taken from you without warning, without mercy.”
Public comment continued like nothing happened — and if Bee reporter Ashleigh Panoo hadn’t found Rami sitting alone in the hallway a few minutes later, none of this would have come out.
By saying and doing nothing while a crowd booed and jeered, Fogg and his fellow trustees failed in their responsibility. Which, in that respect, makes them no better than the bullies themselves.
Read more Fresno Bee
- Written by Tim Evans
Samuel M. Steward, PhD aka Phil Sparrow was a gay pioneer in the world of tattoo, sexual researcher as an associate of Dr. Alfred Kinsey, and a writer of gay erotica under the name Phil Andros. His book Bad Boys and Tough Tattoos chronicles his years as a tattooist among the derelicts and young sailors that roamed the darker side of Chicago. He kept a detailed diary of his customers and their reasons for tattoos.
Phil Sparrow was a pseudonym for Dr. Samuel Steward after he left a 20- year position in academia in the early 1950s that was dull and unrewarding and entered the wild and at the time, underground world of tattooing on the shady side of Chicago. His book Bad Boys and Tough Tattoos offers an interesting view into the life of a gay man, a tattooist no less in the 1950s and 60s. I found this book when I Googled “gay tattoo artists” and his name appeared, among others. His story is fascinating and deserves a place not only in tattoo history but in our gay archives as well.
Bad Boys and Tough Tattoos was published in 1990 and the era in which it takes place now seems archaic compared to the surge in popularity of tattoos and modern well lit, sanitary shops. When Phil Sparrow started his tattooing much of it was done with flash, a premade design displayed on the walls of tattoo shops. Phil started in the bad side of Chicago where gangs, drunks and sailors from a nearby naval training base gathered to get a tattoo and sometimes share their sordid tales. His was a step above the “jaggers”, a derogatory term for unscrupulous tattooists. Phil made certain his equipment was sanitary and refused to tattoo under the age of 18. He would not, like some would, tattoo someone who appeared drunk. Later when he moved from Chicago to Oakland, CA he became the “official” tattooist for the Hells Angels
What of Samuel’s gayness in the days before Stonewall? In this book he mentions the subject only briefly and without much detail. He was out in his personal life but feared being labeled a homosexual in his business and on the street as it might attract too many “tricks”. He writes, “In those days, before the Stonewall incident, it was imperative that if you were homosexual you had to keep it hidden”. As far as gay men that he knew there was not much interest in getting tattooed with such reasons as “I hate needles” and “I would never put THAT on my body.”
Samuel’s book is a fascinating look into the world of tattooing in the 50s and 60s from the perspective of a literary and artistic gay man. As much as the gay community and society as a whole has now embraced tattoos Bad Boys and Tough Tattoos is a fascinating snapshot of the artforms mid to late 20th century history.
- Written by Jason
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